November Eve Lore and Ritual

November Eve occurs on October 31st, when the Sun is in about 15° Scorpio. This Sabbat is also known as Samhain (pronounced sow-een or SOW-un) or Halloween. It marks the end of the final harvest and start of the barren season, that is, the change from the active summer to the reflective winter. It is one of the four Greater Sabbats, and begins the dark half of the year. November Eve is a celebration of death and the dead. It is a time to remember friends, family members and ancestors who have passed over to the land of the dead. In many ways, it is directly opposite of May Eve’s celebration of life.

For the Celtics, whose celebration inspired this Sabbat, this was a time to bring in the livestock from the summer pastures. The weak or old animals, who would not survive the winter, were slaughtered for food. Crops were taken from the fields in the final harvest; anything left behind after Samhain was considered tainted by the faeries and left as offerings to the nature spirits.

For Wiccans, this is a Sabbat that honours the passing of the Lord. We remember the warmth of His Sun, and ask him to care for those who have passed over to the otherworld where He now resides.  We also remember our own  ancestors and recently departed loved ones.  This is also an excellent time to perform divination.


Items Required

  • usual working tools (these are up to the individual)
  • black and white candles
  • photos of deceased relatives
  • divination tools (Tarot deck, runes, etc.)
  • journal
  • gourds, seasonal flowers

Decorate your ritual space and altar with gourds and seasonal flowers (e.g. dahlias and chrysanthemums). Use a black candle to represent the Lord on your altar, and a white candle to represent the Goddess. Also place photos of your deceased loved ones on or around your altar. Place your journal near the altar, somewhere you can easily reach it.

Begin the ritual with your usual Circle casting. Be sure to state that you are holding your Circle in honour of November Eve. You could say something like: Today is the day we celebrate November Eve. I have cast my Circle so I might celebrate with the Lord and Lady on this day. (See my Circle casting here.) When ready, say the following:

Tonight I pause between the worlds to honour the passing of the Lord. He lies now beyond the gates of Death, a place where we will all journey one day. There He rests with those honoured dead who have passed before, awaiting their rebirth.

Tonight I remember family and friends who have journeyed to the other side: (list names here if desired). I take comfort in the fact that they are at peace, and that one day we will be reunited, just as the Lord and Lady will once again be together.

Take some time to meditate on the photos of your deceased loved ones. Write down any special memories, thoughts, etc. that you have about them. When you are done, take our your divination tool and say the following:

Tonight, when the veil between the worlds are weak I ask for aid and guidance. May the Lord and my honoured dead help my divination efforts.

Perform your reading now, taking as much time as needed. I usually do a 12-month Tarot spread. Choose a spread or reading method that will be most helpful to you. When you are ready to move on, say the following:

Thank you Lord; thank you honoured dead for your guidance. Now I end my rite, leaving the Lord to rest with the honoured dead. Soon, He will return, bringing with Him the light of the Sun, just as the honoured dead will one day be reborn.

Close your Circle using your usual method. End with an evening meal or Cakes and Ale, being sure to leave an empty plate and cup for those who have passed away.